OEE: Bridging the Software and Process Divide

July 31, 2013
GE Intelligent Platforms releases Proficy OEE to help quantify OEE as a key performance indicator to drive continuous improvement.

Ever since I first encountered discussions of OEE (overall equipment effectiveness) several years ago, there always seemed to be a disconnect in the way vendors talked about it versus how engineers talked about it. The vendors would typically reference it as a function of one of their software packages; the engineers would discuss it as a process that was part of some continuous improvement effort.
With GE Intelligent Platforms’ release of Proficy OEE, it appears the company is looking to bridge the gap between the process and software that supports it.

According to GE, Proficy OEE is software designed to link measurement and improvement of manufacturing processes. The software reportedly leverages other Proficy applications that continuously monitor equipment to deliver OEE information through a role-based dashboard designed to simplify real-time decision-making. The equipment analysis provided is said to help manufacturers improve equipment performance and, thereby, increase efficiency and productivity on the shop floor.

Explaining the Proficy OEE software connection to the OEE process, Don Busiek, general manager, manufacturing software for GE Intelligent Platforms, says that the OEE process quantifies how well a manufacturing unit performs relative to its designed capacity during the periods when it is scheduled to run. Used as key performance indicator (KPI) in conjunction with lean manufacturing efforts, OEE breaks performance into three separate but measurable components: availability, performance and quality. Each component points to an aspect of the process that can be targeted for improvement. He adds that Proficy OEE supports the OEE process by allowing users to drill down into a particular part number—or any of several other parameters—for analysis related to OEE process components.
“Measuring makes it easier to improve, and improving productivity by eliminating waste is a core objective of lean manufacturing,” Busiek says. “This is a common practice at GE, and this [software] package has proven itself effective in the company’s manufacturing operations, as well as those of other global manufacturers who have reported upwards of 10 percent increases in efficiency by using this OEE software.

“Our experience with hundreds of customers across many industries, including our own GE manufacturing businesses, is that the appropriate integration of software as part of a continuous improvement program speeds time to value and makes the resultant gains more lasting,” Busiek adds. “In organizations considered to be best in class, the interplay of people, process and technology are considered holistically.”

Access a GE white paper on the “Strategic Importance of Plant Reliability” which address both OEE and OME (operational management effectiveness).

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